China win sixth men's gymnastics world team title in a row

Tue Oct 7, 2014 12:12pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - China's all conquering men roared back from an abysmal start to snatch their sixth consecutive team title by the narrowest of margins at the world gymnastics championships on Tuesday thanks to Zhang Chenglong's high-flying horizontal bar routine.

China, whose title defense looked in jeopardy after the first rotation when Cheng Ran sat down following a tumbling skill on the floor, pipped Japan by just 0.1 of a point to spark jubilant celebrations among the home crowd in the southern city of Nanning.

Trailing Japan in second place going into their sixth and final apparatus, precise horizontal bar routines by Deng Shudi and Lin Chaopan left Zhang needing to score 15.867 or higher for the gold.

Zhang, who helped China win the team gold at the 2012 London Olympics, lived upto the expectations, performing complex aerial skills to help China to gold with 273.369 points.

Japan, spearheaded by four-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura, finished second at 273.269.

The battle for the bronze was an equally intense three-horse race with United States edging out Britain and Russia.

In Wednesday's women's team final, defending champions U.S. are expected to be challenged by China, Russia and Britain.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty, editing by Pritha Sarkar)